When you negotiate an issue that affects all Coloradans and do so with your personal political ambitions put first, it's likely you will anger a great deal of people. That's what happened when Senate President Brandon Shaffer refused to compromise on any Congressional redistricting map that didn't include a gerrymandered section, dubbed the "Brandon-Mander" on these pages, primed for his own coming Congressional run.
It especially angered Coloradans as Shaffer's future run for Congress caused him to slice and dice major rural regions to shreds. From Lynn Bartel's post session analysis on the redistricting battle:
"…But Republicans clearly won in the court of public opinion, with Coloradans howling over Democrats' ideas of pairing Grand Junction with Boulder, or El Paso County with the Arkansas Valley."
And now the second aspect to the Republican messaging strategy is shining through: blame Brandon. The reason this messaging strategy will prove just as successful as the attacks on the tone-deafness of the Democrat drawn districts is Shaffer is going to run for Congress.
If McNulty was running for Congress this cycle it would weaken that argument. But when Shaffer announces his run for Congress he will be sticking his head out as the self-interested pol that McNulty claimed he was all along. Shaffer's dealings on redistricting will come to be defined by his own political ambitions, and vice versa.
Shaffer has tried to push back against this line of attack, saying he is the adult in the room. Problem is he exposes the lie to that fallacy in the same article he spouts it. Check this two paragraph section from a Colorado Statesman article:
“We won’t be forced into a blatantly gerrymandered map that benefits Republican candidates and makes congressmen for life.”
As to McNulty’s repeated accusations that Democrats were drawing a map for Shaffer’s political ambitions, Shaffer said that McNulty had also made those accusations about House Minority Leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, and Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora. “He’s playing the blame game and the rest of us are trying to be the adults in the room.”
How do you resort to talking points blaming Republicans and attacking their map, and in the same breath claim to be the adult in the room not playing the blame game?
Voters see through that BS quickly. And when Brandon Shaffer announces his run for Congress they will see very quickly the truth in Speaker McNulty's charge of Shaffer's self-interested dealing.